Hetherington, J. Address to Moyne Shire Councillors at Council Meeting

Ordinary Council Meeting of Moyne Shire Council, Port Fairy, Victoria 28 October, 2014

In attendance: Neighbours to AGL’s Macarthur Wind Development including Janet Hetherington, Chris Jelbart

Presentation by Janet Hetherington

Good afternoon Mayor Purcell, Councillors and Council Staff present

Had Council not deliberately witheld the peer review of the Compliance Noise testing by AECOM, despite several requests for such by residents, I would not be standing here today. INDEPENDENT acoustician Les Huson’s report would have been in Council’s possession and Council could NOT POSSIBLY have voted to confirm the Macarthur Wind Farm is COMPLIANT.

Les Huson’s report will blow both the SLR and ARUP peer reviews out of the water. After all, both of these acoustic companies have a history of working for wind farm developers – hardly independent.

According to the Council agenda the Moyne Shire Council’s solicitors formed a view that “on balance applying legal tests, and considering the relevant factors, we consider the noise from the wind farm is not substantial and unreasonable”. This is UTTER RUBBISH and all of you Moyne Shire councillors know this only too well.

This same legal firm, Maddox was involved in the Cherry Tree Hill VCAT case in 2013 and were present, and fully aware that the Tribunal members acknowledged the existence of the adverse health effects from wind turbines – in particular the sleep deprivation – and made it clear that the symptoms WERE REAL and NOT imagined.

I ask ALL councillors, have Maddox forgotten this fact, or have they just chosen to hypocritically IGNORE this vital conclusion for the purposes of denying the “nuisance” claim submitted by the residents impacted by the acoustic emissions from the Macarthur wind farm ?

The report in question contradicts itself and Moyne Shire council should be ashamed of itself if it accepts such a poorly present report. The report concedes that the wind turbine noise emissions cause sleep deprivation, which is an adverse health effect in itself , and Council have in their possession, and this report also contains, comprehensive evidence confirming such. Ongoing sleep deprivation, as you all are only too well aware by now, is a form of TORTURE, acknowledged by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Committee against Torture.

The arguments concerning nuisance, continued in this report are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT. The term “nuisance”, according to Section 58 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, means “a noise or emission which is, or is liable to be, dangerous to health, or offensive”, where “offensive” means “injurious to personal comfort”. For goodness sake, Moyne Shire, the hundreds of complaints from the residents vividly describe multitudes of examples of impacts dangerous to health, not to mention injurious to personal comfort.

Compliance with AGL’s Planning Permit Conditions is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to this claim of Nuisance …. there is NO reference to nuisance in the Planning Permit.

Regarding the supposed “social utility” of renewable energy I am tabling a document which shows how ridiculous this claim is. Let’s call it Exhibit A.

Finally the findings of the NHMRC and the Victorian Department of Health are equally IRRELEVANT and simply outrageous as both these are fully aware of the serious health impacts, as recognised in the recent review by the NHMRC. Council simply CANNOT RELY on these documents to conclude there is no nuisance caused by the Macarthur Wind Farm.

I would like to table documents B, C, and D which are critiques by Dr. Michael Crawford, Professor Colin Hansen and the Waubra Foundation of the Systematic Literature Review by the NHMRC.

I am tabling documents E, and F, which are critiques by Professor Colin Hansen of University of Adelaide, an eminent acoustic expert, and Alec Salt, a Professor of Otolaryngology, from Washington University in USA. Alec Salt is the leading neurophysiologist in the world, working in this area.

I request that you ALL thoroughly read and digest these documents, and hopefully you will realise what a grave mistake you will be making should you foolishly accept this report being discussed today.

I would also like to table documents G, and H, the former G, being the expert evidence of Mr. Les Huson at the VCAT Cherry Tree Hill hearing. Document H is the Explicit Warning Notice, which I’m sure you will all have read, outlining the Kelley research in the USA which, since the early 1980’s has found that there are comprehensive health impacts from turbines.

When you read the Kelley report, you will realise the world has been FULLY AWARE of the serious health effects from wind turbines since the early 80’s, but for financial and political reasons, chosen to ignore this.

I would also like to put on public record that the Victorian Department of Health is going to extraordinary lengths to hide the authors and sources of information relied on for their two reports released in 2013, reports upon which Moyne Shire officers have also relied to come to their totally unacceptable conclusion that there is no nuisance caused by the Macarthur wind farm. The refusal to grant the above information, requested by FOI, strongly suggests the Victorian Department of Health have much to hide about the origins of these two reports.

We ask that Moyne Shire councillors reconsider this report, as evidence tabled here today proves how irrelevant and inconclusive the information contained, and relied upon for this report is. Far from being an avenue of “least risk” as no doubt advised by your lawyers, this could result in an avenue of “greatest risk” if you continue to ignore all the evidence of health effects, of which you ALL are in possession and cannot deny.

Should you approve of this report and its TOTALLY WRONG conclusion, you, through your continual ignorance and seeming willingness to hide and ignore all the evidence of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, will be knowingly allowing ONGOING TORTURE in the form of sleep deprivation, and harm to people’s health. It is the opinion of the residents, you may put yourselves in a position where you may be held accountable under the Australian Criminal Act, of which you have been made fully aware and in which case you most probably will not be covered by Moyne Shire’s insurance policies.

Janet Hetherington
Moyne Shire resident

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